Fire Camp at Blackbird State Forest on March 30

Controlled burn at Fire Camp
A “live” burn will take place at the Delaware Forest Service’s annual “Fire Camp” at Blackbird State Forest on Saturday, March 30.

SMYRNA, Del. — The Delaware Forest Service will host its “23rd Annual Fire Camp” event at Blackbird State Forest (502 Blackbird Forest Road, Smyrna DE 19977) on Saturday, March 30 from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The intensive one-day seminar is the capstone of the agency’s wildfire training program to certify its emergency firefighters to meet National Wildfire Coordinating Group standards. Last year, the Delaware Forest Service dispatched crews to Colorado and Idaho as the National Preparedness Level climbed to its maximum level of 5.

Delaware "Fire camp" crew meeting

The Delaware Forest Service’s Fire Camp fosters teamwork and unit cohesion among wildfire crew members.In addition to completing an arduous “work capacity test” – which involves carrying a 45-pound pack over a three-mile course in less than 45 minutes – crew members will receive hands-on instruction in several key areas: wildfire suppression techniques, how weather affects fire behavior, crew mobilization and teamwork, water pumps, and chainsaw usage. The event culminates with a “live” controlled burn fire situation.

Due to the event, state forest visitors should be aware that parking at the picnic pavilion and trail head areas on the Tybout Tract will be very limited. The training event will involve fire equipment and vehicles, chainsaws, and a planned burn exercise in the afternoon that will likely cause smoke in the area. Access to many areas will be restricted and/or congested. It is strongly recommended that recreation activities be moved to other State Forest properties. Horse trailers are advised to use the Reynolds farm parking area off of Van Dyke–Greenspring Road. Please call 302-653-6505 with questions.

Media contact: John Petersen
Delaware Forest Service
302-698-4552 (office) 302-233-8180 (cell)